Today concludes Immigrant Heritage Month. During the month of June, East Coast Migrant Head Start Project joined Welcome.us and other organizations, celebrities, and community leaders in celebrating the contributions and diversity our immigrant communities bring to the United States.
ECMHSP offers Head Start services to farmworker families, which often are immigrants, through centers located from Lake Okeechobee in Florida to Lake Erie in Pennsylvania. Our immigrant families come from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and Haiti. They speak Spanish, Creole, and Mixteco. They share family meals of tacos, pupusas, and sos pwa. While each immigrant community may offer unique cultures and customs, one thing remains true for all of our families — they all work hard to provide a secure source of fresh fruits and vegetables to American dinner tables each day. ECMHSP thanks them for their hard work by providing their children with the best early childhood education and comprehensive Head Start services possible.
While their parents work in the fields, ECMHSP provides these smiling children high-quality Head Start services.
Many ECMHSP staff share the immigrant experience themselves and work hard to make our families feel welcomed to this country. All of our centers have bilingual staff to teach our children in their home languages and communicate the child’s progress with the parents. Our early education curriculum incorporates immigrant cultural references so that children can see their experiences reflected in the classroom activities and parents can help their children with take-home lessons. Our menus are developed with the assistance of parents to ensure their children are able to eat nutritious meals that taste like mami’s food. We also work to empower our parents into becoming advocates for our community by bravely sharing their stories, whether it was on Capitol Hill, national and local media stories, or documentaries.
As we conclude Immigrant Heritage Month, we want to share a powerful short documentary, “Para Los Niños” (For the Children), highlighting one of our ECMHSP families from Alabama. In the documentary, filmmakers William Johnston-Carter and Danielle Bryant wanted to show how our immigrant parents struggle to provide a better life for their children by working on American farms. This short film reminds us that this nation is great because it is a nation of immigrants.
To view the film, click here.
ECMHSP parent from Alabama in the film, “Para Los Niños.” Photo by William Johnston-Carter.